was bequeathed to the Romans by Nicomedes III. in 74 B.C.,
and organized as a province. Western Pontus was added to it in
65 B.C., on the overthrow of Mithradates by Pompey. The
united province was governed by propraetors till 27 B.C.,
when it was placed in the list of senatorial provinces,
where it remained till the time of Trajan. Under the
republic it could in no wise compare in importance with the
neighboring province of Asia, being but thinly settled in the
interior, and having only a scanty fringe of Greek culture
along the coast.
quo modo se haberet:
how it is getting on. Cf.
Ter. Phor. 820
ut meae res sese habent
Cic. Att. 13.35.2
scire aveo quo modo res se
Tac. Ann. 14.51
ego me bene habeo
ecquonam: etc., whether
I had made any mone
cf.ager uber) ou)
pa/nu de\ u(gieino\n tou= qe/rous
(cf. aestuosae). Homer
mentions the fertility of the region in
Hom. Il. 13.793
aestuosae: cf. Catul. 7.5n. The
unhealthy character of the region as summer came on rendered
departure even more agreeable.
claras Asiae urbes:
i.e. the famous Greek cities on the Aegean coast of
volemus: the figure of
flying for sailing is prompted by the eagerness of the
desire to be gone; cf. Catul. 4.5
of the same voyage.
tremulous with eager anticipation; cf.
pedes: not that
Catullus was contemplating, as some have thought, a land
journey, but the passionate eagerness for de
tated movement and feeling (eg. rapidus three times, citatus four times, citus twice, rabidus
three times, rabies once).
celeri: indicating his
eagerness for arrival.
Phrygium nemus: that
clothing the slopes not of Dindymus but of Ida (cf. vv. 30,
citato cupide pede:
emphazing the eager haste of the traveller, rather than
indicating a land journey after reaching the shores of
Asia (cf. vv.
47, 89), the poet is not writing as a geographer. Cf. v. 30
opaca: cf. v. 32. The
mad rush of the new devotees is contrasted with the silent
mysteries of the abode of the goddess.
thereupon; cf. vv. 42, 48, 76; and Catul. 66.33; Catul. 8.6n.
furenti rabie: cf. v.
38 rabidus furor.
vagus animis: the
plural to indic
longer bore the yoke;
in this expression, as in the following verses, the absolute
desertion of the farm is pictured by representing it as if
it had lasted a long time.
Verg. Ecl. 4.40f.
non rastros patietur humus, non vinea
falcem; robustus quoque iam tauris iuga solvet
humilis vinea: here,
as, according to Varro RR 1.8,
in Spain and some
parts of Asia, the
vines were not trained on trees, but either ran along the
ground or were so cut as to be kept low. The latter plan is
followed to-day in the great vineyards of California, and to some
extent in Italy
referring to the crescent-shaped iron, the two points of
which form the teeth of the rastrum pictured in Rich's
Dict. Ant. s.v.
rastris: the rastrum was a heav